HP’s Hurd Is Out, Lesjak Interim CEO

By now, most of you have read that there has been a leadership change over at HP.  Mark Hurd, amid a sexual harassment suit, was essentially forced to resign because he submitted and was reimbursed for improper company expenses.

When the news broke, we all a hear “Hurd,” “resigned,” and “sexual harassment.” If you want to go beyond the headline grabbing blurbs, you need to read the New York Times article on the subject.

“Mark V. Hurd, who turned Hewlett-Packard into the world’s largest technology company on the back of fierce fiscal discipline, has been ousted from his post for the lowliest of corporate offenses — fudging his expenses.”

Ouch!  Not cool.  I find it totally amazing that someone so well respected, who has a lot of money in today’s economy would lose such an amazing job just because they wanted to cut some corners and save some personal cash.  If it’s business, OK fine, expense the dinner or whatever.  If it isn’t, and if there is a chance it can come back to bite you in the end, they just pay for it yourself.  Mr. Hurd reportedly filed expense reports that inaccurately contained reimbursements “from $1,000 to $20,000, according to a person close to Mr. Hurd who was briefed on the situation but was not authorized to speak publicly.”

The good news for Mr. Hurd, which should allow him to get another senior management job in the near future, according to the Times article is “that the sexual harassment charge was unsubstantiated.”

With Hurd’s departure, HP’s Board of Directors has appointed Cathie Lesjak (seen above in the inset) as the interim CEO.  Ms. Lesjak is a 24-year veteran of HP and will retain her responsibilities as CFO while acting as the interim CEO.

Mr. Hurd will be leaving HP with a $12,224,693 severance package.  Not too bad for only violating HPs Standards of Business Conduct policy.

You can read the full article on the New York Times website.  Friday’s press release can be read on the HP website.


  • Becka Benard

    Good jockeys will do well on good horses, but not on broken-down nags. Both Berkshire's textile business and Hochschild Kohn had able and honest people running them. The same Interim Management Provider employed in a business with good economic characteristics would have achieved fine records. But they were never going to make any progress while running in quicksand. I've said many times that when a management with a reputation for brilliance tackles a business with a reputation for bad economics, it is the reputation of the business that remains intact.